New Orleans has been getting a lot of positive attention in the national media in recent years. From being one of the best cities for entrepreneurs to being the leading sports tourism destination, the accolades keep rolling in. It seems the country is cluing in to what we know is happening here – New Orleans is going through a beautiful renaissance.
To add to our list of boasts, Forbes just named us the number one city gaining the most college graduates in their recent article, “America’s New Brainpower Cities,” by Joel Kotkin. According to Kotkin, “the New Orleans metro area’s population of college graduates grew by 44,000 from 2007 to 2012, a 20.3% increase, nearly double the national average of 10.9%.”
New Orleans is not only getting more educated, but we are becoming a place that can keep those valuable college grads that make significant contributions to our community here once they complete college. Because our city of 360,000 has the cultural richness and assets of a city of millions, while at the same time remaining affordable, we are becoming a seriously desirable and viable place for young people to build a career and future in. Kotkin writes, “Unable to afford to settle long-term in traditional ‘brain centers,’ educated people are increasingly looking for places that have strong economies but also many of the cultural and natural amenities associated with the traditional meccas for the educated.” In the article, Kotkin continues on to quote long-time New Orleans tech entrepreneur Chris Reed, “For $65,000 a year in San Francisco you get a shared apartment and no car. Here you get great restaurants and clubs, and you get to have a car and your own nice apartment. It’s a no-brainer.”
As we continue to build on our strengths and strengthen our weaknesses, New Orleans is on its way to reaching its full potential. We love our city and more and more people around the world are getting to know the side of us that works just as hard as it plays.